December Nights to light up Balboa Park


City News Service

The 34th annual Balboa Park December Nights festival — the event once known as “Christmas on the Prado” — begins tonight, Dec. 2.

The festival includes park museums open for free, holiday music, a nativity scene and exhibits at the international cottages. Also, the Civic Youth Ballet will perform excerpts from “The Nutcracker” each evening, and members of the Junior Theater will perform musical numbers.

With 300,000 people expected to attend the two-day festival, drivers are encouraged to arrive early because of limited parking. The free lot at the San Diego Zoo is expected to be filled by 6 p.m. today and 4 p.m. Saturday.

Free shuttle service will be provided from Petco Park at 13th and Imperial avenues, the County Administration Center north parking lot adjacent to Grape Street and lots at San Diego City College near 16th and B streets.

Trolley riders can go to the City College station and transfer to the Route 7 bus, or get off at the Little Italy station and walk to the shuttle stop at the County Administration Center.

Information on getting to the event is online at